Rafa Benitez is a keen supporter of the Newcastle United Foundation, and they do some great work in the community on behalf of the club.
On Tuesday night was the Newcastle United Foundation’s annual dinner attended by players past and present.
And both Shola Ameobi and Rafa himself were inducted into the Foundation’s Hall of Fame.
Shola was at his local club for almost 20 years, and Rafa has been our manager for about 20 months, but in that short time he has already transformed the club and brought everybody associated with Newcastle together.
Guest Speaker Gabby Logan interviewed Rafa in a video that is going viral, and Rafa gave a great speech which was inspiring for everybody associated with the club.
Rafa Benitez with Gabby Logan last night
Benitez praised the charity’s work, and he is dedicated to having Newcastle United well-connected to the Foundation and therefore to the local community.
It’s simply a great vision for the club.
This is some of what he said last night – which is all on video but difficult to make out what he’s saying at times:
“When we came we tried to get to know the culture of the city, the club and its history.”
“All of this gives you an idea of how big the club is. Here it’s obvious that it’s a big city behind one club.”
“Sometimes you have a couple of teams in the same city but in this case, everyone has to support this team.”
“I think it’s important to have the Foundation and for us as a club to be supportive of it because the connection is important.”
“When you have a massive city supporting the team and you have a lot of fans supporting the team these relations – between fans, and players, and the club and staff – is really important.”
“Not just for this kind of event, which is massive, but also for the future.”
“Because if you want to grow, you want to be stronger, you have to have a lot of people behind the team.”
“When you are in a bad moment you need the support of your fans.”
“Always, I send the same message, especially now we have lost two games in a row.”
“We have to stick together. If we want to be stronger, we have to stick together.”
“It’s really important to realize that 125 years is massive, it’s a massive club.”
“But still we can improve, we have to improve and the best way to do it is all together.”
Rafa also called for those tweets that come out after almost every game these days criticizing the players who didn’t play well for us – to stop.
They do nothing for the player, nothing for the team – and nothing good for anybody associated with Newcastle.
Hopefully, those who put out articles framing those negative tweets will have second thoughts after the games – but it’s a free country.
Bottom line – some great words there from the manager.